Rockets grab 26-23 Netball victory over Aces after relaunch | Island Sun

Rockets grab 26-23 Netball victory over Aces after relaunch

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Rockets Center Melissa Thomas snags a pass ahead of the One Love Aces’ Wing Defense, Abie Lamorelle 

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

After being grounded by One Love Blazers during a 21-15 loss a week ago, the BVI Netball Club Rockets relaunched, then fended off One Love Aces charge, 26-23 on Sunday at Cedar School, to finish second in the BVI Netball League.

Rockets Center Melissa Thomas told Island Sun Sports that it was an ‘amazing’ feeling to get the victory. “We played really hard for the whole competition, they actually put up a good game, but we’re very proud of ourselves right now,” Thomas said, noting that it was strategy and communication that led them to victory, after Aces made their run to get back in the game. “We fed the ball properly. In the quarter breaks, we discussed how we were going to play. We discussed with Shanique (Dr. Beckett-Davis), she was Goalkeeper and we told her once she’s planted, she doesn’t need to move from that very tall (Aces) Goal Shoot (Caroline Gordon)—she played very well—but we told our Goalkeeper not to move and she was able to block and intercept some of those balls.”  

Ladanna Duncan said it was a challenging game as most of her players didn’t turn up.

“We played with who we had. I don’t normally shoot. I’m the Goal Attack so I did what I had to do,” she said, noting that they challenged the Rockets. “We came back in the third quarter, tried to nail it but we couldn’t.”

Asked what they saw in Aces that they capitalized on, Thomas said her squad had ‘more energy and a better fitness level.’

“They had better shooting than us,” Duncan noted. “My shooter didn’t show up today and that hampered my team a lot and she didn’t miss shots.”

Duncan said she felt ‘comfortable’ in the role as Goal Shooter and will probably take it on as she likes feeding the ball to her shooter to a level where she knows she’s putting in the shots. “The real shooters, if they were here today, it would have been different,” she said. “I think we missed about four shots and those four shots dimmed us. We were tired and didn’t have any extra players to sub, so we just played and we enjoyed ourselves.”

In assessing the Rockets’ season, Thomas said they had their downs but also had their strong moments. “It was really nice to see all the women coming out,” she said. “We have a lot of male dominated sports here, so it was nice that we have a group of women and it helped to build networking at the same time. All of us work in different sectors, so it was nice to communicate and have links or contacts with the different sectors.

Duncan who’s also BVI Netball Vice President, said they had to cut the league short as other sports were coming on stream. There was a Dominican Republic Basketball tournament on the Long Bush court that they use as their home field, for example, that was booked for the same time as their matches.

“The league was fair, the umpires were fair, but it’s just the players that should have shown up for my team (today) but I guess they’re busy at work,” she said. “I would like to see the sport more advanced and go to the full length, because we had to close earlier than planned because of the other sports coming on stream, it was forced to a close today and that hampered my team to show their true potential.”

Thomas said she’s looking forward to the next season. Playing with different strength levels she said, you adopt certain strategies. “You learn how to be flexible to be honest, because not all the time you play against the same people,” she said. “ou have a lot of subs that come into the game at various times, so for the next season, we’ll just do our best, keep up our fitness levels and just be victorious again, hopefully—but we came second.”

In last week’s match with One Love Blazers, she said several of her teammates were not feeling well. “The energy was lacking and it wasn’t a successful game for us,” he noted. “But, last week we lost, we took it humbly and we came out this week in order to strengthen ourselves, play better and not allow certain calls to get to us, keep our heads in the game and just be focused.” 

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